5 Quick and Easy Ways to Give Your Living Room an Eco Makeover

Does your living room need a makeover? Then it’s a good time to invest in some energy saving, eco-friendly changes. Or maybe you are setting up your living room for the first time. Either way, there are ways to save money while keeping the environment in mind.

5 Quick and Easy Ways to Give Your Living Room an Eco Makeover

It’s easier than you think to take steps towards reducing the carbon footprint of your home.  They these five quick and easy steps that will help you save money and create a more eco living room:

Use power strips. Power strips are an energy-saving option because they can be turned off, cutting power to multiple electronic devices all at once. Devices that are plugged in still use electricity even when turned off, especially if the appliance has a rechargeable battery.

Buy a smaller, LCD television. A big screen plasma TV may be an exciting prospect, but think before you purchase one. Smaller, LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) TVs use less electricity than plasma, and the smaller the TV the more energy-efficient. There are flat-screen, LCD TVs available.

Freshen the air with plants. You don’t need to invest in chemical air fresheners, many of which contain perfumes that can irritate allergies. Air fresheners also have to be replaced regularly. House plants, on the other hand, are inexpensive, beautiful, and natural air fresheners. They turn carbon monoxide into oxygen and absorb toxins from the air. Succulents, cacti, and orchids are good for beginners.

Consider salvaged wood furniture. This is furniture that is made from collected wood, such as fallen trees or driftwood. This kind of furniture can be purchased or, if you really want to save money, collect and make something yourself. You can assemble driftwood pieces artistically and glue them together into a mirror or picture frame, for example, or use a cross-section of a fallen log as an end table.

Update your lamps. You don’t have to sacrifice style to go green with your lighting. Simply replacing your existing bulbs with CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Bulbs) will cut your energy costs. Putting an inexpensive timer on your living room lamps is another way to save energy.


44 Farm To Table Websites You Need to Read

When you are intent on making every page count and fitting in every morsel of information you know will benefit readers, unfortunately some sacrifices must be made in the publishing world to reach this goal.  In the case of my new book, Getting Laid: Everything You Need to Know About Raising Chickens, Gardening and Preserving — with Over 100 Recipes! (ISBN 1632280213,) in order to deliver the encyclopedia of cumulative farm to table knowledge I wished to present and empower readers with, I had to cut the page count which meant sacrificing the “resource guide” suggestions for further reading in the back of the book.

44 Farm To Table Websites You Need to Read

Well, I just couldn’t leave you hanging without this valuable bit of information so I went one step further and produced an even bigger, more comprehensive farm to table websites list to share on Sustainable Chick.  Hope this continues to enhance your sustainable living journey!



44 Farm To Table Websites You Need to Read

Food & Beverage:


Sustainable Living:

Get Involved:

Food Tank http://foodtank.com/

Food Tank is focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. They spotlight environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty and create networks of people, organizations, and content to push for food system change.

Slow Food USA http://www.slowfoodusa.org/

The mission of this international grassroots membership organization is good, clean and fair food for all.

Eco Agriculture Partners http://www.ecoagriculture.org/

An international initiative for dialogue, learning and action about landscapes for people, nature and food.

Center for a Livable Future http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/johns-hopkins-center-for-a-livable-future/index.html

The mission of the Center for a Livable Future is to promote research and to develop and communicate information about the complex interrelationships among diet, food production, environment and human health.

Leaders for Nature http://www.leadersfornature.nl/home.html

Leaders for Nature is the IUCN NL business engagement network of twenty multinationals and major Dutch enterprises working together on greening the economy.

44 Farm To Table Websites You Need to Read

Barb Webb featured in All You Magazine (October Issue!)

Have you picked up your October copy of All You magazine​ yet? You’ll find my tips for stress-free kids after-school activities on page 61!

Barb Webb featured in All You Magazine (October Issue!)

The crafts mentioned in the October 2015 All You Magazine article can be found here: http://www.allyou.com/budget-home/crafts/homemade-crayons and http://www.allyou.com/budget-home/crafts/play-dough-recipe

And you can find additional DIY crafts for kids on http://www.ruralmom.com/category/create/crafts including fun ideas like superhero finger-print crafts and duct-tape craft ideas!

Hope you find the ideas inspiring for creating some stress-free DIY after-school enjoyment for your family!

Getting Laid wins the Green Book Festival award for Best How-To Guide!

Folks, your favorite sexy how-to book, Getting Laid: Everything You Need to Know About Raising Chickens, Gardening and Preserving — with Over 100 Recipes! just got sexier!

Winner of the 2015 Green Book Festival Award for Best How-To!

Getting Laid wins the Green Book Festival award for Best How-To Guide!

“Getting Laid helped me to find my “inner farm girl” I am trying many of her recipes and my family is very grateful that I now have dozens of ways to cook eggs and not just my old go-to scramble. This is a book I will keep and use for decades as author Barb Webb espouses exactly how I want to live- healthier, happier and as far away as possible for GMO monoculture. Bravo Barb Webb!”
–Louise Baxter Harmon, author of Happiness A to Z

Sustainable living boasts no boundaries. You don’t need massive amounts of acreage or even a fenced-in backyard. We may not be 100 percent sustainable in our lifestyle, but we can become better in-tune with our environment and conscientious of our actions. Like all aspects of life, it’s about balance, finding ways to live a greener, cleaner life within the parameters of your current lifestyle.
Top blogger for country living, Rural Mom, shows us the (actually very easy) way to live a sustainable lifestyle without making ourselves crazy in the process.

Why does even Jennifer Aniston raise chickens in the Hollywood Hills?

Easy answer, it is extremely cool to raise you own hens. Eat the organic eggs and lie back on feather beds from your own brood.

And what about you? Author Barb Webb believes there’s a farm girl in all of us and she helps you find yours!

Available internationally at a all major booksellers and online retailers including Amazon

“This is the best farm to table book I have ever seen and I think it helps that Barb Webb lives on an actual farm. Clearly, she knows what she is talking about and has put together not just a book of how to grow your food and cook it very creatively, but really this is a guide to the good life.”
–Reeda Josephs, author of Girlfriends Are Lifesavers


“Getting Laid” highlighted in Publisher’s Weekly Home Improvements Books Feature

March 20, 2015 – Publisher’s Weekly “Building an Audience: Home Improvement Books 2015

 In Getting Laid: Everything You Need to Know about Raising Chickens, Gardening and Preserving—with Over 100 Recipes (Cleis, June), Barb Webb, the blogger behind Rural Mom (13K Pinterest followers, 84.8K Twitter followers), provides a road map to sustainable living. – Gwenda Bond,

New buzz in Publisher’s Weekly for Getting Laid! Love seeing the pretty bright cover front and center and feeling blessed to be featured in this important article highlighting note-worthy DIY titles for 2015!


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Mason Jar Crafts: Quick and Easy Embossed Letter Jars

Mason Jar Craft

In addition to enhancing my sustainable lifestyle in the kitchen, Mason jars truly rock my craft world!

Right now I’m crazy about the new Ball Canning Heritage Collection Purple Mason Jars from their vintage collection series. They are already great on their own merits for canning and use around the home for storing and displaying all kinds of stuff.  But I simply cannot leave well-enough alone, it seems, so I had to see if I could glam it up a bit in anticipation of spring flowers.

In the process, I learned that crafting with the Ball Canning Heritage Collection Purple Mason Jars allows me to make “peace improved.” So, yeh, there’s that! An improvement on peace?  I can live with it!

Glamming up the jars and achieving an embossed letter look is super simple.  Supplies you will need are:

Adhesive foam letters
Spray paint (craft variety that adheres to all surfaces works best)
Painter’s tape (or duct tape, masking tape, etc.)
(optional) Decorative scissors
Scrap paper

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First, determine what want to use the jar for. With the frozen tundra we currently have outside,  I was dreaming of spring flowers so decided a lovely vase might encourage Mother Nature to send a little warmth our way.

(Interesting side bar – the next day it warmed up.  Coincidence or the power of Mason jars?  You decide!)

I thought about lettering with “spring” or “joy,” but as my current quest for incorporating a little more peace and serenity into my daily life is high on my goal list, I figured a daily visual reminder would be good to have.

Next, arrange your foam letters on the jar and press them down to secure in place. If you are looking for cut-out letters (meaning you remove them at the end and allow the jar to shine through,) it’s better to use flat stickers to ensure no paint seeps through.  As I wanted to leave them on the jar for an embossed look, foam letters are the way to go.

Once your letters are arranged and secured to the jar, you can tape off the areas of the jar you wish to paint.  Often, I’ll opt to paint the entire jar, but as I already love the gorgeous purple color of the Ball Canning Heritage Collection Purple Mason Jars, I wanted to be sure plenty of it was still visible. I decided just under half the jar would be the perfect portion to paint.

Mason Jar Craft

Using tape and scrap paper, cover the jar areas that will not be painted.  For a little “extra” embellishment, I used decorative scissors to cut the tape.  You can also leave the tape “as is” to create a straight edge for your painted area.

When you have your tape shield in place, move the jar to a well-ventilated area suitable for spray painting.  I typically toss a tarp down on the ground and spray paint items outside.  When painting half of the jar, it’s easy enough to hold the top of the jar with your hand and gently turn it to get an even coat of spray paint on.  If you are doing a full jar, I’ll typically turn the jar upside down and insert a sturdy piece of PVC pipe into the jar to hold the jar slightly off the ground.

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After the paint has fully dried, remove the tape and viola! you’ll have a lovely embossed letter look on the your jar.  If any paint managed to seep under the tape or paper, use a butter knife to gently flake it off the jar.  One of the great things about working with paint and glass is that it’s generally easy to remove errors. One of the drawbacks, of course, is that this is a hand-wash very gently-only item.

mason jar craft

To improve my peace Mason jar vase further, I cut a length of gold mesh wire ribbon to tie a bow at the top.  This added the extra little bit of balance and glam I desired.

Now, if spring will hurry up and offer up some lovely flower clippings to display in my Mason Jar vase, I’ll be all set!

Do you have a favorite Mason jar craft?  I’d love to hear about it!

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